Willis Carrier is the “Thomas Edison” of air conditioning. During one of the hottest years on record, the mechanical air conditioner was born. In 1902 the United States was in the middle of a massive heat wave, this made the dangers of being outside for too long, very real.
Temperatures would continue to rise, but thanks to Willis, the world was changed with his invention. The original reason for mechanical air conditioning? To keep moist air out of printing plants in order to keep magazine pages from wrinkling!
Carrier had been born in 1876 to an old New England family—including an ancestor who was hanged as a witch in Salem—and attended Cornell University, He then took a job with a heating outfit. The research Carrier had produced saved his company $40,000 a year per year and he was given control over a new department to experiment with the engineering that would help him design his first air conditioner.During his tenure there, he met Irvine Lyle, a salesman who later became his partner in Carrier Corp., a company that succeeded in marketing the air conditioner to Americans in the 1950s. Today, Carrier Corp is known as United Technologies.
Throughout the years air conditioning units have lost it’s air of luxury, Today, almost 90% of U.S. homes have air conditioning, and international demand for cooling systems are staggering. Air conditioners bring much needed relief to more than 3 billion people who live in the tropics and subtropics, according to a
Most people approve of, and enjoy the air conditioning unit’s ability to provide relief from heat and a comfortable space in the home,not everyone is on board with Carrier’s invention. Environmentalists who are concerned about global warming have called for cutting back on the use of air conditioners. While they recognize the invention’s public health benefits, to them, the environmental effects are worth limiting usage. With record-breaking temperatures expected for the coming decades, air conditioning likely isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
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